Don't Look, but on August 21, 2017 it's a Solar Eclipse!!!!
Coming up in less than 2 weeks there will be a Solar Eclipse!! On Monday, August 21, at around 1:30 pm the Sun will start to darken. This is happening because our Moon is beginning to cover up the Sun. During a Solar Eclipse the Earth, Sun and Moon will align in such a way that the Moon will appear to cover the Sun. While the Sun is actually thousands of times bigger than our Moon, because of how far away each of these objects is from the Earth our perspective causes this phenomenon to occur.
While a Total Solar Eclipse will be happening over the United States, we will not be able to see the Sun completely covered up by the Moon here in Pennsylvania as we are a little too far North. In order to see the Total Eclipse you have to be in a small path less than 100 miles wide on the Earth. That is because the Moon is much smaller than the Earth and so is its shadow. Only those within that shadow will experience totality. However, we will still see a portion of the sun get covered, about 75% in fact.
No matter where you are during the eclipse the most important thing to remember is to NOT LOOK AT THE SUN!!! Only those within the Path of Totality can look at the Sun directly and then it is only for a few minutes. For us, even though the Moon will cover up a larger portion of the Sun, there is actually still light reaching us from the Sun and that light is still strong enough damage your eyes. In order to safely observe the Eclipse you can get yourself pair of Solar Eclipse Viewers or use a paper plate. I will put some links below on how find the viewers on the internet, but I have also seen them in local stores such as Lowe's for less than $5. If you are using a paper plate, just poke a hole in the plate and hold it up to the Sun. Then you look down on the ground or on a sheet of paper under the plate and you will see a bright dot of light. That dot is the Sun! During the eclipse that dot of light will darken as the Sun is covered by the Moon. So you are seeing the eclipse without looking at the Sun!
Check out the links below for more information on the Eclipse!!!
The North Penn School District would like to welcome you to the North Penn Planetarium. Our planetarium features a state of the art 30 foot dome and can seat up to 57 people. We offer programming that caters to all ages featuring presentations that focus on such things as our changing night sky, the seasonal sun and the moon, as well as many other aspects of our sky.
If you have some questions for Mr. Bauman, the Planetarium Director, check out the Ask Mr. B! link on the left. You can also check out the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day by clicking on the NASA link on the left. You will also find a link for a feedback form. If you have attended a program at the planetarium, please take a few minutes to fill out the form so that we can hear about your experience and work to make our programs the most enjoyable and educational that we can. Please check out the link to request use of the planetarium for a private function/group. You will find information about our fee structure and the programs that we offer, as well as a form to submit for reserving the planetarium. After you submit your form, I will be in touch as soon as I am able to confirm dates, times and the programming.
Keep checking back frequently as we continue to update our website!
See you in the stars!
North Penn Planetarium